Here’s Why You Need to Involve Salespeople in Your Sales Playbook Creation

In Episode 2 of The Sales Way Podcast, we look at why it’s crucial to involve salespeople in your Sales Playbook creation process.

Take a listen to the episode here, and we’ve also included an edited transcript of the podcast episode below. (If you want to hear more B2B Sales Enablement insights, subscribe to our podcast to get notified when we launch a new episode).

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Episode 2 – Transcript

Involving Salespeople in the Sales Playbook Creation Process -What’s the issue?

Sales Playbooks often start their lives in the Product Management department, and it can be months before a salesperson ever sees the sales playbook – in fact, it’s often only when a product is actually launched that salespeople get access to the sales playbook.

And then it’s usually too late.

We’re not saying that Product Managers can’t create fantastic sales playbooks – it’s just sales playbooks will always be better if sales teams are involved in its creation early on.

There’s a few reasons for this:

  • Sales reps are front and center when it comes to engaging with your customers – they are hearing about the challenges your customers are facing, they’re working on support issues – in short, they are dealing with customers on a daily basis. They are your communication funnel into customers – so use their insights in your playbook.
  • Salespeople can tell you what objections they are coming up against regularly to inform your playbook contents.
  • Salespeople can word content in a way that appeals to other salespeople – it has to be grounded in real-world phrasing that sales reps can go in and use with customers.

By involving sales reps in the formative, developmental stages of your sales playbook creation process, you avoid the issue of executives often guessing at what customers’ objections might be. Instead, you can use real-life customer concerns and perspectives to make your playbooks as relevant as they can be.

You’re trying to avoid the playbook ending up being yet another sales training content document sat on an unused portal or intranet – it needs to be a living, breathing, valuable asset.

So what do we want to achieve with our sales playbooks?

Where we’re trying to get to is a sales enablement nirvana where salespeople are continually ploughing back content and feedback into the sales content creation funnel. This means that salespeople are involved in first creating the content, then they are involved in tweaking and refining the content based on their experiences when they go out into the world using your content in sales pitches and client interactions.

Involving Salespeople in the Sales Playbook Process - Funnel

This has results in two benefits:

  • More relevant content: Your content will naturally be more relevant as it includes real-world insights and perspectives.
  • More buy-in from salespeople: If you take out a Sales Playbook to your sales teams and say, “This is what our most successful and experienced sales colleagues have said works in a live customer situation – this is the blueprint they’re following to achieve success,” then you’re more likely to get buy in from your wider sales team.

What people often forget is that you need to sell your sales playbook to your sales teams. Tell them why this is going to help them, how it’s going to help them to be more successful, what value it’s going to bring them, in effect – it’s like creating a sales pitch for your sales playbook.

After all, if you can’t sell a really valuable, insight-packed, success-charged sales playbook into your sales teams, then what hope do you have for selling your products?

Getting Sales Playbook Buy-In – Checklist

So here’s a mini checklist to focus your efforts:

  • Involve salespeople early on to find out what they actually want in a sales playbook, instead of guessing what they might want.
  • If it’s an existing product that the playbook will focus on, then ask sales reps what objections and challenges they have in selling that product, and build from there.
  • If the playbook is going to be used to sell a new product, then ask your sales teams about objections and sales play issues related to similar products, or what customer challenges are for the industries your product will be sold into.
  • Once the product is launched, have a plan where you revisit the playbook 1 month, 6 months and 12 months after launch to refine the content based on objections and insights coming back in from customers.

Creating a sales playbook is all about making the playbooks as relevant as they possibly can be. They are complex, and long documents – let’s not forget that, so you want to make the most out of your time and financial investment in creating a sales playbook by making it as useful and relevant as you can.

For a free guide on how to create a Sales Playbook – check out our Sales Playbook Guide which talks you through everything you need to know. And, if you want to create a professional B2B sales playbook, then take a look at our Sales Playbook Templates which include battlecard and playbook templates, plus all the supporting documentation and resources you need to create a dynamic and ready-to-go sales playbook.

Subscribe to our podcast, The Sales Way, for B2B sales enablement leaders and sales managers to hear more insights on sales enabling your teams.

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